Augustine of Hippo developed a sophisticated understanding of the imago Trinitatis—the image of the divine Trinity in the human mind—in books 8-15 of his De Trinitate. His interpretation of Genesis 1:26, in which Scripture states that humanity is created in the image and likeness of God, was influential on medieval theologians as they commented on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. The present paper will focus on the medieval reception of Augustine’s understanding of the imago Trinitatis in the commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard by Gregory of Rimini (OESA) and Pierre d’Ailly.
The paper will focus on the methodology of Gregory of Rimini and Pierre d’Ailly as they interpret Augustine’s trinitarian theology. In particular, it will be noted that in their interpretations of Augustine’s psychological analogy (imago Trinitatis) Gregory of Rimini and Pierre d’Ailly radically disagree about how to interpret Augustine. And, given Damasus Trapp’s arguments that within the Augustinian Order a new “historical consciousness” emerged regarding patristic theology and its sources (including the quotations of patristic sources), the paper will consider the methodological and theological strategies of Gregory and d’Ailly as they formulate their own interpretations of Augustine.
It will be argued that methodologically Gregory of Rimini interprets the psychological analogy by analyzing a significant number of quotations from Augustine, before concluding that there is not a significant analogy between the divine Trinity and the human mind. Gregory’s use of sources is impressive, and it will be argued that methodologically his argument for this conclusion is unique. The second part of the paper will consider Pierre d’Ailly’s rejection of Gregory’s position and his attempt to ground his argument in the theology and language of Augustine. It will be shown that these two fourteenth-century theologians developed distinct methodological approaches to Augustine in the attempt to formulate an “Augustinian” theology of the imago Trinitatis.